Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies


The overarching purpose of this two-phase study was to gain understanding about and insight into the practice of effective psychodrama supervision as a specialty field. The study explored senior supervisors’ perspectives on their roles as in-class group supervisors in psychodrama graduate school programs in Israel. Grounded theory (GT) methods of data collection and analysis were aimed at learning about participants’ professional approaches, and practice- based experiences. Study 1 involved face-to-face in-depth interviews conducted with open-ended core questions. The interviews explored how six expert participants approached the practice of PD supervision and the reasons behind their approaches. The findings shed light on the PD supervisor’s multifaceted role as clinical educator, role model, and group facilitator. The four emergent main domains, PD supervisors’ professional role identity; guiding principles and practices; PD supervision pedagogy; and PD supervisors’ challenges and dilemmas, constructed a conceptual framework of interrelated and overlapping aspects of the practice of PD supervision. Each domain was divided into five sub-categories for a total of 20 sub-categories that reflect the multifaceted nature and complexity of the supervisor’s role. A preliminary set of applicable best practice guidelines, both descriptive and prescriptive were formulated through secondary level analysis and synthesis of the collected data. Study 2 involved a single six-hour focus group study composed of questionnaires and collaborative group discussions as its main research instruments. The participants, 10 senior Israeli PD supervisors, were invited to provide outside expert opinion and validation of the proposed theory and guidelines. Study 2 served the primary purpose of ensuring greater trustworthiness, accuracy and triangulation of Study1 findings, and in addition provided key new findings on the specification of the PD supervisor’s embodied role and the experiential practice of PD supervision. A new emergent domain B highlights the foundations of PD supervision philosophy and worldview as rooted in classical psychodrama theory and language. Study 2 concludes with an expanded conceptual framework for conceptualizing PD supervision. In addition, a set of applicable best practice guidelines are constructed as secondary findings grounded in the data and presented as a proposed platform to help inform effective PD supervision.

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